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Underground Theology: Open Theism Needs New PR

Open Theism has a serious PR problem. In fact, it has several. For starters, the name is terrible. It simply doesn't clearly communicate the view's central tenet: the partially indeterminate nature of the future. Which is understandable, since the central tenet is obscure and unsexy. However, good PR is designed to fix that. Instead the name "Open theism" invokes the idea that it is a type of theism (which already sounds way too general) that is "open" to other theisms. "Open theism" sounds like the perfect name for a type of religious pluralism that considers every possible theism valid—making it very "open." Secondly, with the exception of Greg Boyd and perhaps a few others, the theology scholars who have written in favor of Open theism are not charismatic personalities. Most are pure academics. Already this creates a disconnect between the intended audience—Christian laypersons—and the author. This is only exacerbated when the academic author communicates as if he (and they are almost entirely men too) is writing to his academic colleagues. Finally, the most prominent Open theist authors are by and large not very culturally or technologically savvy. Therefore, you don't see the proliferation of well-designed, strategically-marketed materials promoting their view. By contrast, Neo-Calvinism resources are extremely well-designed and strategically-marketed. Therefore, it isn't very difficult to understand why that view is gaining more and more ground in the US each day.

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Theological Graffiti is a blog written by T. C. Moore @tc_moore ...a Jesus-disciple, husband, father, Associate Pastor @NewCityChurch of Los Angeles, sometimes web designer, writer, and theology geek. For more about me, visit my Personal Website or my Online Profile. Otherwise, enjoy the graffiti.

T. C.

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